WELCOME to the “Hermon A. MacNeil” — Virtual Gallery & Museum !

~ This Gallery celebrates Hermon Atkins MacNeil, American sculptor of the Beaux Arts School. MacNeil led a generation of sculptors in capturing many fading Native American images and American history in the realism of this classic style.

~ World’s Fairs, statues, public monuments, coins, and buildings across to country. Hot-links (on the lower right) lead to photos & info of works by MacNeil.

~ Hundreds of stories and photos posted here form this virtual MacNeil Gallery of works all across the U.S.A.  New York to New Mexico — Oregon to South Carolina.

~ 2016 marked the 150th Anniversary of Hermon MacNeil’s birth on February 27,

Take a Virtual Journey

Since 2010 this website has transported viewers through the years and miles between 100’s of Hermon MacNeil’s statues & monuments throughout the USA.

For over one hundred years these sculptures have graced our parks, boulevards, and parkways; buildings, memorials, and gardens; campuses, capitols, and civic centers; museums, coinage, and private collections.

PERHAPS,  you walk or drive by one of his public sculptures daily. HERE, you can gain awareness of this great sculptor and his many works.  Maybe there are some near you! CHECK HERE!

Search Results for "moody"

 

Bust of Dwight L. Moody, Evangelist, made by MacNeil in 1920 for the  Mount Hermon Academy in Northfield, assachusetts

Bust of Dwight L. Moody, Evangelist, made by MacNeil in 1920 for the Mount Hermon Academy in Northfield, assachusetts

At age 78 Hermon MacNeil wrote an autobiographical sketch in June 1943 from his home in College Point.   A copy of it is in the MacNeil Papers at the Cornell Library Archives.  My sister, Melba, found a copy in mother’s family files.

Only 13 typed pages in length, MacNeil’s Sketches provides brief reflections on his life and a listing of his sculptures.   The list catalogues 42 pieces that he made in his nearly fifty years as a sculptor.  One very brief entry says simply:

“D. L. Moody. Northfield University, Mass., 1920”

MacNeil’s mention of a sculpture of D. L. Moody was my first awareness that he had ever done such a piece.   

Searching the internet I found TWO photos (one on the right and another larger one below). They both come from the Northfield Mount Hermon (Click HERE)  website.  The school is a merger of the two academies for poor and underprivileged children (one for girls and one for boys) that Moody founded in 1879 and 1881. A  brief history of the school can be found on Wikipedia. [Click Here].

MORE below photo:

"Dwight L. Moody" 1920 - A bust by Hermon Atkins MacNeil now graces the campus of Northfield Mount Hermon academy in Massachusetts. The school is a merger of the two separate academies (one for girls and one for boys) that Moody founded in 1879 and 1881

“Dwight L. Moody” 1920 – A bust by Hermon Atkins MacNeil now graces the campus of Northfield Mount Hermon academy in Massachusetts. The school is a merger of the two separate academies (one for girls and one for boys) that Moody founded in 1879 and 1881

While I await confirmation from NMH, this undoubtedly appears to be the work referenced by Hermon in his autobiograhical sketches as a 78 year old man. While finding ‘undiscovered’ works by Hermon MacNeil over the last 3 years, has been one recurring delight of building this website, I never cease to be amazed when I find one.  This particular discovery seems amazing for several reasons:  

  • Both of my Parents (Rev. Louis Lee Leininger, Sr. and Ollie McNeil Leininger) attended Moody Bible institute in Chicago in 1926-28.
  • I never heard my parents ever mention this sculpture.
  • If my mother knew of  “Uncle Hermon’s” bust of Dr. Moody, she would have mentioned it , repeatedly!
  • To my knowledge, my parents never visited in Massachusetts, never saw, or ever knew of this piece.
  • This is a one of a kind piece. Thus hard to find in a private school. Not known to the general public.
  • I have no information on how it was commissioned, or how Hermon MacNeil became connected with this project.

 STAY TUNED !  There has got to be MORE.   I will let you know as soon as I find it. 

ENJOY these lovely close-ups from the NMH website!!!

 

 

Hermon MacNeil often made Christmas Cards that  featured his own drawings and studio images.

MacNeil Christmas card from 1922.

Here’s a Card from 1922  ==>>

This pencil sketch proclaiming “Merry Christmas 1922” appears reminiscent of MacNeil’s “Sun Vow”

In that composition, a Native Chief, possibly Sioux, coaches a young warrior through a rite of passage — shooting an arrow into the of the sun.

In MacNeil’s 1922 Christmas drawing, a similar pair of figures wave a banner of seasons greetings.  Their presence seems a reprise of the Sun Vow sculpture.

While that was over a century ago, here’s what we can know  today:

  • We know being an artist, MacNeil often carried and kept sketchbooks. 
  • We know he would sit in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair with his sketchbook.
  • We know he sketched D. L Moody at an interdenominational Sunday Worship in Wild Bill’s Arena (since no Sunday shows were allowed and Moody rented the venue)
  • We know he traveled, sketched and sculpted on his trip to the Southwest territories in 1895 (New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Colorado). 
  • We know he formed clay and plaster images there; and he shipped many back to Chicago.
  • We know that his memory of Native images dominated his sculptures for the next ten years.

I suspect that the idea for this card sprang up from the artist’s visual memory, perhaps, revived from an old sketchbook.  A dusty record of images that he first saw three decades earlier at the Worlds Columbian Exposition of 1893.

Here’s More from this website:

“Native American Themes: His first introduction to native subjects came through Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. During the 1893 Worlds Fair, Buffalo Bill’s troupe performed in a carnival setting outside the main entrance. Fascinated, MacNeil’s artist-eye and imagination took every opportunity to see the show and sketch the ceremonies and rituals of Indian life — MacNeil often carried a sketch book. He latter befriended Black Pipe, a Sioux warrior from the show, who he found down-and-out on the Chicago streets after the carnival midways of the Fair had  closed.  MacNeil invited Black Pipe to model for him and assist in studio labors, which he did for over a year.  Inspired by these native subjects and encouraged by Edward Everett Ayers, MacNeil found a respect for this vanishing Native culture and made subsequent trips to the southwest.  When the Marquette Building was constructed, MacNeil was awarded a commission to complete Four Bas Relief Panels  of over the main entrance.  His work depicts four scenes from Marquette’s trip through the Great Lakes region.”

“In the summer of 1895, along with Hamlin Garland (a writer) and C. F. Browne (a painter), he traveled to the four-corners territories (now, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and Utah) seeing American Indians (Navajo, and Moqui — now Hopi) in their changing cultural element on various reservations.  While there, he was asked to sculpt, out of available materials, a likeness of Chief Manuelito. The Navajo warrior had died in despair after being imprisoned for four years as a renegade by the U. S. Government (Col. Kit Carson) twenty-five years earlier.  Manuelito’s likeness (click here), made of available materials, brought tears to his widow’s eyes, and remains an object of cultural pride in Gallup, New Mexico to this day.” SOURCE: Click HERE

photo 1

Dan Leininger holds the “Galley” for Summer 2014 with MacNeil’s “Pony Express” statue on the cover and an 8 page feature story inside.

“Clan MacNeil Connections and Hermon Atkins MacNeil”

The current issue of the Clan MacNeil Association of America magazine has a feature story on Hermon Atkins MacNeil by webmaster, Dan Leininger

The Galley edited by Vicki Sanders Corporon titles Dan’s story as “Clan MacNeil Connections and Hermon Atkins MacNeil.” The feature and photos fill 8 pages in the “Galley” issue for Spring/Summer 2014.

Ezra Cornell statue at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY was dedicated in 1918 after WWI.

Ezra Cornell statue at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY was dedicated in 1918 after WWI.  Page 19 of the “Galley” (This Photo from Cornell University is Courtesy of Chris Carlsen).

 

 

Page 20 of  “Galley” for Summer 2014

Page 20 of the “Galley” for Summer 2014

The featured photos include the East Pediment of the Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C. (with a detail close-up of Moses, Confucius, and Salon); The George Rogers Clark monument in Vincennes, IN at the site of his victory over the British in 1779; Confederate Defenders of Charleston, SC; the Young Lawyer Abraham Lincoln in Champaign, IL; General George Washington on the Washington Arch, NYC, NY. Also in this article are photos of the grouping Coming of the White Man in Portland, OR; The WWI Angel of Peace Monument in Flushing NY; and a bust of Dwight L. Moody (who MacNeil sketched during the 1893 Chicago Worlds Fair.

photo 2

Page 18 of the “Galley” for Summer 2014

WHAT YOU FIND HERE.

Nearby or far away, there is no ONE place to go and appreciate this wide range of art pieces. Located in cities from east to west coast, found indoors and out, public and hidden, these creations point us toward the history and values in which our lives as Americans have taken root.

Webmaster: Daniel Neil Leininger ~ HAMacNeil@gmail.com
Hosting & Tech Support: Leiturgia Communications, Inc.
COME BACK & WATCH US GROW

WE DESIRE YOUR DIGITAL PHOTOS – Suggestions

1. Take digital photos of the entire work from several angles, including the surroundings.
2. Take close up photos of details that capture your imagination.
3. Look for MacNeil’s signature, often on bronze works. Photograph it too! See examples above.
4. Please, include a photo of yourself and/or those with you standing beside the work.
5. Add your comments or a blog of your adventure. It adds personal interest for viewers.
6. Send photos to HAMacNeil@gmail.com Contact me there with any questions. ~~ Webmaster